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Air fryer meatballs

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One of the top things I love about the air fryer is how fast it can make meal times. When I come in, after I long day, and I’m rushing around, sometimes I want to feed my girls a homemade meal, that I know they’re going to love, but I don’t want a lot of faff. This is where air fryer meatballs come in for me!

These meatballs take just minutes to prepare, and just 12 minutes to cook. They are super fast, tasty, juicy and always a hit with my little ones.

With the addition of pressure cooker spaghetti, and the homemade pasta sauce I keep on hand in the freezer at just about all times, I’ve got a tasty midweek meal, that I know they’ll love, in next to no time.

Not every meal I make has to be about presentation, so while these aren’t the nicest looking things I’ve ever shared here my daughters love them, as do we, and they are the basis of a real hearty, tasty family midweek meal.

Cooked air fryer meatballs (13) in the metal air fryer basket

Ingredients for air fryer meatballs:

250g lean beef mince or a mixture of lean ground beef and ground pork

2 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

30g panko breadcrumbs

20g parmesan cheese

Italian seasoning (optional)

Three air fryer hasselback potatoes that have been cooked in the air fryer in a red stoneware baking dish from Le Creuset

How to make air fryer meatballs:

Preheat air fryer basket to 190C (Approx 380F).

Combine together all of the ingredients adding a pinch of salt and pepper and the optional Italian seasoning if you’d like.

Use wet hands to shape the mixture into small air fryer meatballs.

I made around 15 meatballs from the mixture, so they were on the smaller size. The size of the meatballs will determine how many minutes they take to cook, so do bear that in mind.

Cook for 12 minutes, shaking the basket up halfway to ensure the meatballs don’t stick.

I did not use any oil, spray oil or otherwise, for this recipe as I knew the meatballs would cook well already. Shaking the basket helps to ensure no sticking occurs and that the meatballs can be removed whole.

They are safe to serve when the internal temperature has reached 71C (160F) as a minimum.

Air fryer diced potatoes in a metal tray. There are paprika and rosemary ones, and ones just seasoned with salt and pepper. The text reads air fryer diced potatoes

Can you air fryer meatballs with sauce?

You can, however, I prefer to add the sauce afterwards and heat it up on the hob instead. When air fryer meatballs with sauce I find that they dry out very fast. If you just want to warm the sauce through, and it does not contain meat, then the hob is a super fast and easy way to do this.

Heat your sauce through and then add your meatballs right upon serving. Alternatively you can place the meatballs into the sauce, top with mozzarella, grated parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese and place until the grill or broiler for a couple of minutes until golden brown.

How long do meatballs take in the air fryer?

These took 12 minutes, as they are on the small side. If you have large meatballs you may want to extend the cooking time by 2 or 3 minutes, just ensure you check the safe internal cooking temperature has been reached before serving. Food should always be piping hot from the air fryer to avoid becoming unwell!

Air fryer cheesy chips (cooked) on greaseproof paper on a baking tray backdrop with text overlay that says 30+ air fryer side dishes

Are air fryer meatballs good?

Absolutely. They don’t dry out, they stay lovely and juicy, and best of all they are super fast.

Personally I love that the air fryer has a lid, so there is no hot fat spitting everywhere like there would be with the hob. This cuts down on mess and also my air fryer is surprisingly easy to soak in the kitchen sink too. I love to make home made food, and cooking for my family is something I enjoy.

Making main dishes, such as these meatballs, in the air fryer is such a way to feed a hungry crowd too, especially as I have a nice roomy Ninja Foodi air fryer.

How to air fry meatballs in the Ninja Foodi

Just use the air crisp setting and follow my method. I have used a Ninja Foodi for this recipe, on the air crisp setting, and I love it. It is so versatile and I can cook literally 100s of different meals per year now with ease.

A garlic baguette that has been cooked in the air fryer and is in an enamel baking dish

What else can you do with air fryer meatballs?

You could use these on the top of an air fryer pizza, or perhaps inside a calzone. You can use in a sub to make your own homemade Subway and you can also enjoy these as part of a Ninja Foodi spaghetti and meatballs recipe. So versatile!

What’s good to serve with air fried meatballs?

We love to serve meatballs with a variety of foods such as my homemade pasta sauce, kale tomato pasta sauce, air fryer mashed potatoes, air fryer mashed potato balls, onion gravy, beef gravy, air fryer onions or just with air fryer chips and tomato ketchup!

Air fryer Ninja roast potatoes, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and air fryer pizza with salad and garlic and herb dip - text overlay that says what can you cook in an air fryer?

What are great toppings for meatballs?

I love to keep it simple with fresh herbs and different cheeses. Feta cheese, parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese all work well. I love Italian seasoning mixes or just a few nice torn basil leaves.

What meat to use for meatballs?

You can make meatballs from anything really. Beef and pork both work very well, either separately or together. Turkey and chicken are great if you’re looking for more of a lean meatball with lower calorie content.

You can use soya based mince if you want to make these vegetarian or vegan with ease and the cooking time and method for cooking should be similar.

A cooked pizza, made in the air fryer, topped with nduja sausage, peppers and chilli

While you’re here why not try out some of my other air fryer recipes?

Something to note about air fryer recipes is that all air fryers have different sizes, depths and as such the cooking times can vary. All air fryer recipes on this website are intended as a guide, and not a guarantee that the timings will be perfect. Enjoy!

How to air fry meatballs:

Air fryer meatballs

Delicious juicy and succulent air fryer meatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword air fryer, beef, mince, pork
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 12 meatballs
Calories 43 kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

  • 250 g lean beef mince or a mixture of lean ground beef and ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper pinch
  • 30 g panko breadcrumbs or similar
  • 20 g parmesan cheese grated
  • Italian seasoning optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer basket to 190C (Approx 380F).
  2. Combine together all of the ingredients adding a pinch of salt and pepper and the optional Italian seasoning if you’d like.
  3. Use wet hands to shape the mixture into small air fryer meatballs.
  4. I made around 12 meatballs from the mixture, so they were on the smaller size. The size of the meatballs will determine how many minutes they take to cook, so do bear that in mind.

  5. Cook for 12 minutes, shaking the basket up halfway to ensure the meatballs don’t stick.
  6. I did not use any oil, spray oil or otherwise, for this recipe as I knew the meatballs would cook well already. Shaking the basket helps to ensure no sticking occurs and that the meatballs can be removed whole.
  7. They are safe to serve when the internal temperature has reached 71C (160F) as a minimum.

Note: All calorie information is for demonstration purposes only and is based on the specific uncooked ingredients that I used when creating the recipe.

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

Cooked air fryer meatballs (12) in the metal air fryer basket
Recipe Rating




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